Fukushima 118... 8/9/2018 - 8/23/2018

August 23, 2018

  • Tokyo will not remove the installed public radiation monitors in Fukushima Prefecture. Nuclear Regulation Authority section chief Shoji Takeyama, told the Prefecture this on Wednesday. There are roughly 3,000 monitors located across the prefecture, costing the NRA about $4 million a year. The agency had said they would remove 2,400 on the devices through the next 3 years, but caved to the complaints of local residents. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180823_12/
  • Japan’s sweltering heat wave has raised heat-stroke concerns at F. Daiichi. A manager of sub-contractor IHI Construction told his workers, “Please limit your efforts to shifts of less than 90 minutes” in order to better manage the heat. IHI builds the large tanks for storing waste waters. The personnel must hydrate themselves while working, but many do not due to wearing required protective clothing and having to remove it in order to hydrate at water stations. Junichi Ono, the head of the IHI Plant Construction’s task force, said, “We need to pay attention because we work in a humid environment.  If a worker falls sick, we will lose valuable time taking that person to the doctor.” On-going efforts to protect personnel have dropped the number of heatstrokes from 23 in 2011 to 6 in 2017. Although this year has been one of unprecedented heat, only four cases of heatstroke have occurred. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201808180033.html
  • F. Daiichi will have stronger tsunami protection. The upgrades are intended to prevent contaminated water in building basements from being spilled into the Pacific Ocean. Tepco will accelerate the schedule to block openings on the surface and the buildings’ ground floors. The new schedule is due to a December earthquake assessment the says a 8.8 Richter Scale quake is “imminent”. The resulting tsunami could reach a peak of 10.3 meters, which is nearly two meters higher than the ground elevation above sea level. There is about 50,000 tons of contaminated water in the basements of units #1 through #4. http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004670847
  • Tepco looks to create a consortium of key nuclear industry companies for maintenance and management services and decommissioning. The desired companies are Chubu Electric Power Co., Hitachi Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. The intent is to streamline operations and safety management, which promises to reduce costs for everyone. In addition, the consortium could discuss possible construction of new nuclear plants in the coming years. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201808220046.html
  • The costs of making nuclear anti-terrorist upgrades are steep. NRA-mandated measures will have a price tag of at least $40 billion. Nuke operators must construct a facility to cool reactors via remote control in the event of a terrorist attack or an aircraft smashing into a plant. The upgrades are required to make the upgrades within 5 years of clearing NRA safety regulations. Currently, six of the 11 nuke companies have yet report on their anticipated costs, so the total price tag will probably be a lot more. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201808230044.html  
  • Small-to-trace amounts of radioactive isotopes in F. Daiichi’s fully-treated waste waters make headlines. The reason is continuing radiophobic “concerns” by local fishermen and local residents. Allegedly, only the residual Tritium in the waters is of continuing concern. Also, the complainers say the 920,000 tons of stored water is not being checked for radioactivity once the water is safely in storage. https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2018/08/e52ba157d49a-treated-water-at-fukushima-nuclear-plant-has-radioactive-substances.html  (Comment - Stories like this serve no purpose other than keep the radiophobic demographic on edge!)
  • United Nation’s rapporteurs tell Tokyo to better protect workers at F. Daiichi from radiation exposure. The 3 independent “experts” appointed by the UN Human Rights Council jointly issued a statement on Thursday, August 16th. The report says workers are "being exploited and exposed to toxic nuclear radiation" and says they are deeply concerned about "possible exploitation by deception regarding the risks of exposure to radiation" and "the adequacy of training and protective measures." Lawyer Baskut Tuncak says their concerns have not been dispelled by the Japanese government. Tokyo has lodged a protest over the rapporteur’s report! https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180817_80/

August 16, 2018

  • Fukushima holds an international forum on decommissioning F. Daiichi. On August 5th and 6th, domestic and foreign experts shared information on available technology and talked with local residents. It was the third such forum to be held. The first day focused on allowing locals to “know, talk, and question”, interacting with the experts. The second day was largely a technical session concerning remotely-operated and robotic technology, both in Japan and available from overseas sources. The experts came from around the world, including Dr. Jeff Griffin from Savannah River National Laboratory in the United States. The need for international cooperation was stressed both days. https://www.jaif.or.jp/en/international-forum-on-decommissioning-fukushima-daiichi-highlights-remotely-operated-systems/
  • A large statue of a child wearing Anti-Cs is unveiled and sparks local criticism. The 6.2-meter statue called Sun Child was made by contemporary artist Kenji Yanobe to express his wish for a world free from nuclear disasters. It is designed to show that the air in Fukushima Prefecture is free of radioactivity. Yanobe apologized on his website for the sharp criticism his creation induced. He said, "I wanted to make a work that encourages people (in Fukushima)...and made the statue of a child standing up bravely and strongly against any difficulties it faces.The clothing looks like protective gear, but it is also armor to confront major issues and, being like a space suit, it also carries a futuristic image." Criticisms included the statue giving the impression that everyone in the prefecture has to wear Anti-Cs, and the artwork is “unscientific”! Yanobe responded, "I should have paid more attention to the fact that accurate knowledge about radiation is needed much more now than before the disaster." https://japantoday.com/category/national/child-statue-in-protective-suit-in-crisis-hit-fukushima-criticized
  • Last Friday (Aug. 10) Chucogu Electric Co. applied for an NRA safety examination regarding Shimane unit #3. Shimane #3 is nearing the end of construction, at more than 93% completed. Work on the 1,373 MWe Advanced Boiling Water Reactor system  began in 2005, but construction was halted for several years following the accident at F. Daiichi. Requests for permission to operate were submitted to Shimane Prefecture and Matsue City in June and July. This is the second-such request for a safety screening on new nuke construction, following the one submitted relative to Oma unit #1, submitted in 2014. https://www.jaif.or.jp/en/chugoku-electric-applies-for-shimane-3-safety-examination-second-for-a-reactor-under-construction-after-ohma-npp/

August 9, 2018

  • Japan will not raise the cap on nuclear financial compensation funds. Currently, nuclear station owners must have a roughly $1.2 billion fund set aside in the unlikely event of a major nuclear accident. The Japan Atomic Energy Commission has been pressured to raise the limit, but an expert panel has decided it would not be needed. However, the draft report keeps operators' current unlimited liability for compensation that is stipulated in the law on compensation. The public comment period will last for 30 days, and the final report is expected as soon as October. https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2018080700265
  • Tepco temporarily ends the sale of Fukushima Daiichi souvenirs. Last week, the company began offering plastic folders with images of the four units which suffered damage on 3/11/11. The folders drew a considerable social media outcry, so Tepco pulled them off the shelf. They had been on sale for F. Daiichi visitors and workers at the station. Nay-sayers claim selling them was insensitive, especially to those forced to evacuate their communities. However, there were a number of people who thought the sale of the souvenir folders was appropriate. One said the merchandise could help visitors remember what they saw at the plant. The company is reviewing the large number of comments and will then decide whether or not to resume sales. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180809_38/


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